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Netflix officially interested in movies through Xbox

Posted in Digital Video by Darrin Olson on March 26th, 2008

Netflix officially looking into streaming video content through Microsoft’s Xbox 360Netflix has officially confirmed rumors that they are indeed looking into streaming video content through Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console. Spokesman Steve Swasey did not confirm that Netflix and Microsoft have any partnership currently in the works, but Netflix has started surveying existing customers to gauge their interest in a new, additional offering through the game console.

Netflix’ business model has traditionally been to provide a subscription of physical DVDs that are shipped to customer’s homes, but has been working diligently to keep up with new technologies and customer demands for streaming video. The company created a partnership with LG earlier this year for a set top box to stream video content into its customers living rooms, and last year started offering online video through computers which recently increased to unlimited content for $17 per month subscribers.

Callpod Drone Bluetooth adapter automates connections

Posted in Bluetooth by Darrin Olson on March 25th, 2008

Callpod Drone Bluetooth adapter automatically connects and streams VoIP and music to Bluetooth headsetCallpod, makers of that slick looking ChargePod (that really works as good as it looks), has launched the Drone as another piece of convenience for connecting your gadgets. The Callpod Drone is a Bluetooth adapter about the size of a typical thumb drive and plugs into the USB port of a computer.

Once connected the Drone will automatically find and pair with your Bluetooth headset or headphones and give you a 100 meter range of wireless streaming for VoIP phone calls or music. Now granted, once you pair Bluetooth devices manually the first time you are usually set from then on, but we can’t complain for making things just that much easier. The adapter also Plug & Play, works with Macs and PCs and allows you to automatically switch from music to calls when the come in.

Samsung AnyCall Haptic with 22 types of touch

Posted in Mobile Phones by Darrin Olson on March 25th, 2008

Samsung AnyCall Haptic mobile phone with multiple types of touch feedbackSamsung is jumping in the market joining the ranks of LG, Apple and others who have put out mobile phones featuring a touchscreen interface with the new AnyCall Haptic SCH-W420 mobile phone. Touchscreens have been all the rage for the past year or so, and already there are enough that companies have to come out with some unique features to help one stand out from the other.

To the AnyCall Haptic, Samsung has added some vibrating tactile feedback to the touchscreen. In fact, they’ve added 22 different types of feedback to your fingers from the screen, depending on what you’re doing with the phone such as dialing a number, moving objects around or spinning a dial. Whether or not your fingers are able to distinguish between 22 different type of vibrations is another story, but at least some feedback helps quite a bit if you’ve every tried to quickly dial a number on a flat touchscreen.

Modified monster Segway sports 6 wheels

Posted in Personal Transport by Darrin Olson on March 25th, 2008

Custom Segway 6-wheelerCheck out this guy with a little too much time and money on his hands with a customized Segway. The personal transport device is outfitted with what looks like 6 small car tires, three on each side, making it the widest and possibly the most impractical Segway we’ve seen yet. The tires stretch it out two feet on either side and sound like they add as much noise as they do traction. Check out the video after the jump.

Intel drops some official news on the 2go PC

Posted in Notebooks by Darrin Olson on March 25th, 2008

Intel 2go PCWe’ve finally run across some solid-looking information about that highly-rumored portable notebook coming from Intel. The small education-targeted computer will be named 2go PC and comes with a very decent set of features including an Intel Celeron M processor and 512 MB of memory (upgradable to 1GB).

If you look close you can make out the details in the spec sheet after the jump, but to save you some eye strain some of the notable features include overall dimensions of 8.7″x7.3″x1.5″, a 9″ LCD (840×480), 40GB 4200RPM HDD, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, a SDMMC memory card reader, integrated 30fps camera and it runs Windows XP and has support for Linux.

PS3 2.20 firmware now available

Posted in PS3 by Darrin Olson on March 25th, 2008

Sony PS3 2.20 firmware is now available.Just in case of the off chance that you hadn’t been gaming all last night, that 2.20 firmware update for the PS3 is now available. Along with some minor changes and tweaks the big news for this update is the BD-Live interactive content for Blu-ray 2.0. It looks like most of the updates revolve around media and web. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any sign of the portable copy to get Blu-ray movies on your PSP that we heard rumors of, or at least not in this version.

Thanks for the heads up, Josh.

PS3 2.20 firmware could copy Blu-ray to PSP

Posted in PS3 by Darrin Olson on March 24th, 2008

PS3 2.20 firmware upgrade could copy Blu-ray movies to the PSPIt looks like Sony’s next firmware update for the PS3 might include even more than the BD-Live interactive content on Blu-ray discs and the loss of the max file size for some video media. According to PCWorld the 2.20 firmware upgraded for the PS3 will also bring the ability to transfer Blu-ray movies from discs on the PS3 to the Playstation Portable.

This would be a nice feature for Sony to add sounds like it would be not unlike the Digital Copy we saw from FOX movies for iTunes. Instead of taking the time to convert each film into a special version for the PSP, some Blu-ray discs would have a “portable copy” of the movie that can be transferred to the PSP.

X-mini Capsule speakers lose the wires

Posted in Speakers by Darrin Olson on March 22nd, 2008

Wireless X-mini capsule speakers from XM-I.I have to admit that we thought these little X-mini speakers from Singapore’s XM-I were pretty nifty to begin with, but now XM-I says the speakers are going wireless. The X-mini’s are small (around 52mm wide) speakers that can fit in your pocket and be used to pump out the sound to share from your PMP.

When you want to use the speakers, they will pop open accordion-style and product sound with a special bass chamber through a high-fidelity 2.4W speaker. Now, with a limited amount of power we really can’t imagine the X-mini will really be pumping a whole lot of sound, and a wireless version would probably have even less juice but they are still a pretty neat solution.

Canary Wireless updates their WiFi detector

Posted in Wi-Fi by Darrin Olson on March 21st, 2008

Canary Wireless WiFi hotspot detector HS-20 digital HotspotterPersonally I find little need for a Wi-Fi detector these days since my phone and my notebook both do a good job of finding open networks. If I can’t find it with one of those I’m not going to be able to use the wireless network, anyway. There are however a number of uses and apparently still a demand for such detectors however, and Canary Wireless has recently launched a second generation model of their Wi-Fi network detector witt he Hotspotter HS-20.

The HS-20 has some simple operation in a small package to pick up as many as 20 Wi-Fi networks at a time. A button on the side turns on the device and it immediately starts scanning for networks. After a few seconds it will display a list of networks that it found, including those that are secure and/or have no SSID broadcasted.

Steel colored PS3 with Metal Gear Solid 4 launch

Posted in PS3 by Darrin Olson on March 21st, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 Playstation 3 bundle from Sony and KonamiKotaku has gotten their hands on some real pictures of the new PS3 coming to Japan along with the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4 launch. The PS3 is steel colored which seems like an appropriate choice given the game that it will come bundled with in June. The console will have “Metal Gear Solid 4 Limited Edition” written on the case with the new color and comes packaged with the game and a matching steel DualShock 3 controller pictured after the jump.

Best Buy helping HD DVD owners with their loss

Posted in HD DVD by Darrin Olson on March 19th, 2008

Best Buy offering credit or trade-in for HD DVD players and discsBest Buy has made an announcement that it truly does feel bad for all of those that bit the bullet and made a decision in the high-def video format war, before it was over. People wanting high-definition video last year and early this year had a tough time making a decision between Toshiba’s HD DVD and the Blu-ray formats, and some chose the wrong one.

Now that Toshiba has stopped making the HD DVD formats and studios have stopped creating HD DVD formatted movies, the players are almost useless and Best Buy is recognizing this by offering a $50 store credit to all that purchased an HD DVD player from Best Buy before February 23, 2008. Some will automatically receive the checks from Best Buy, but if you don’t get it by May you can call them and request it at 1-888-BEST-BUY.

Sci-Fi guru Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on March 19th, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90 years old in Sri LankaArthur C. Clarke, science fiction author and most famously known for his work on “2001: A Space Odyssey” and his early forecast of communication satellites, died Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka at the age of 90.

Clarke wrote nearly 100 books in his lifetime dealing mostly with the future of science and the idea that the destiny of the human race lied somewhere beyond the Earth. His writings shaped the way many people thought about science and technology and inspired a wide range of individuals ranging from scientific astronomer Carl Sagan to Gene Roddenberry with Star Trek.

Samsung claims world’s slimmest 8MP cellphone module

Posted in Digital Cameras by Darrin Olson on March 18th, 2008

Samsung 8MP CMOS camera module claims to be world’s slimmestIf you like one of those who frequently use your mobile phone for taking photos, things just got a little clearer. Samsung recently unveiled what they claim is the world’s thinnest 8MP CMOS designed for use with cellphones.

The device measures just 28mm × 15.3mm × 8.5mm, and the small size is not all. Like many digital cameras, the little photo-taking module features face-detection, anti-shake, ISO 1600 sensitivity and can even detect and automatically snap a photo when it recognizes a smile.

Mitsubishi Blu-ray recorders put HD video on standard DVDs

Posted in Blu-ray by Darrin Olson on March 18th, 2008

Mitsubishi Electric launches the DVR-BZ200 and the DVR-BZ100 Blu-Ray disc recordersMitsubishi just launched two new Blu-ray recorders set for Japan with the DVR-BZ200 and the DVR-BZ100. The two recorders each house an internal HDD with 500GB and 250GB capacities, respectively.

The part that really makes these Blu-ray records most notable is that they can record HD content onto a regular DVD disc with Blu-ray’s AVCREC specs. You can fit around a couple of hours of Full HD MPEG video onto a standard 4.7GB DVD, and set it to record using the super-cool, included touch screen remote control.

Intel announces plans for up to 8-core processors

Posted in Processors by Darrin Olson on March 17th, 2008

Intel’s Pat Gelsinger introduces Nehalem and Dunnington as new processor chipsToday Intel announced plans for its future in building processor chips in this seemingly crazy race to build them bigger and faster between Intel and AMD. The latest news involves new chips that promise to bump up processing speeds even more with 2, 4, 6 and even 8-core processors.

Intel unveiled a new microprocessor code-named “Dunnington” which will pack in a 6-core processor as a replacement for current Xeon systems with Quad-core processors. According to Pat Gelsinger, general manager of Intel’s digital enterprise group, the new Dunnington processors are expected to be available in the second half of 2008.